Witnessing story

Short christian story I wrote a while back. Since a short story was requested, I thought I’d put it up.

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A joyful laugh behind 15-year-old Jonathan made him wince. The sound was so the opposite of what he was feeling right then he just wanted to plug his ears.

It’s a grocery store, he thought, what are you going to do? People can be happy here if as much as anywhere else.

He turned around and saw a girl about his age with long brown hair holding the hand of a redheaded toddler. His older brother seemed to be busy arguing about a coupon with the checker, so he made a comment.

“That your brother?” Jonathan asked. The girl nodded and straightened the collar of her olive green jacket,

“He’s got quite a forest fire goin’ on up on top already, doesn’t he? He looks just like Dad.” she tousled his hair affectionately. Jonathan nodded and glanced at the girl’s hair, which looked nothing like her brother’s.

“Have you got your mom’s hair then?” he asked. She shook her head,

“Nope. Both our parents have red hair, so do all the rest of my siblings.” Jonathan looked puzzled. “I’m adopted,” The girl added, noticing his confusion.

“But… you love him just as if he was your real brother! How can you do that?” Jonathan exclaimed.

“Jesus said to love everybody and just because I’m adopted…” Jonathan stiffened in surprise at the name: “Jesus”. The girl stopped and reddened, “I-I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to…”

“No, no, it’s fine. Go on.”

“Well, if I wasn’t able to love my adopted family, then I wouldn’t have been able to bring them to God,” ended the girl.

“Yeah! Kate told me about Jejus!” said the toddler, hugging the girl’s legs. Jonathan’s heartbeat quickened.

“Maybe you can help me,” said Jonathan, careful to keep his voice down, “We stayed in a hotel a while ago. I had to stay back in the room while my family did something else. While they were gone found a bible in the nightstand, and I was so bored I read the whole book of John. I believe in God now, but I’m afraid to tell anyone, much less my family. How did you do it? Do you have to preach at them or just give them a bible? I’m just so scared of what they’ll think and my brother teases me often enough as it is…”

“Just love them,” interrupted Kate. Jonathan stopped,

“What?”

“Just love them. Unconditionally, at all times and even when they tease you about it. They’ll ask you about it sooner or later, and then you can tell them why. Meanwhile, just keep reading the Bible. I like Proverbs best.” Kate hefted her little brother up on her right hip. The little redhead squinted at the sliding glass door for a moment, then squealed.

“I see Mommy!!!!” he crowed so loud that everyone in the checkout lines turned their heads. Kate dropped the grocery basket she was holding and ran for the woman with curly red hair who had just walked in the door, her long, brown hair streaming out behind her.

The woman laughed as she saw her two children coming towards her. Kate ran into her mother’s open arms and the three family members hugged each other tightly.

“Would you look at that?” said the checker, finally done arguing with Jonathan’s brother, “That family must be pretty tight. I think I was about nine years old the last time I gave my mom a hug like that.”

When the hug finally ended, Kate’s mom planted a kiss on both of her children’s cheeks and they started back to get a few other groceries they’d apparently forgotten. Jonathan felt an ache in his chest and swallowed.

“Hey, Jonny boy! Comin’ or not?” Jonathan nodded and started after his brother. The sliding glass doors slid open and Jonathan took one more quick glance over his shoulder to see Kate and her mom walking with their arms around each other’s shoulders.

Just love them, Jonathan thought as himself into his brother’s car, I just might try that.

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